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Showing posts from February, 2014

superheros and mermaids

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Atelierista: to transcend the diorama

I got a question from a reader- "You say it everywhere on your blog but for the record, what is it that Studio Thinking is all about?"

That's a good question.So what's it all about? I think about the way contemporary artists use media and materials to work out ideas, to tell stories or to answer questions. 
Studio thinking is thinking with materials in your hands. It is using media and materials to work out ideas, tell stories and answer questions. It is making things to figure things out. 
Studio thinking is challenging. It is challenging to do, and in doing it, you are challenging ideas and assumptions, your own and other's. 
Loris Malaguzzi wanted the studio to be subversive, and that's not easy for a lot of people. He talked about the studio as laboratory,  and if you think of it that way, as a place for hypothesizing and testing theories, you can start to see the difference between studio (or atelier) and a traditional school art room. What's more, if yo…

Going deeper; the weather and the stars

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The group of kindergarteners who is thinking about how colorful reflections move on the kindergarten rug has built a model of the solar system and a miniature window to test their theory about the planets and the sun. In this conversation from 'project circle', I hope you can see the moments of cognitive conflict which are propelling their investigation along. Do you remember we thought that one way to tell the weather is if reflections come through the windows? Juliette It doesn’t always work. Because even if the rainbow didn’t show down, sometimes it’s still sunny out, even though if there’s no rainbow there. Max H. we made a solar system, and now we have all the planets, but we haven’t tested it out yet. Then, we’re gonna, we haven’t built a few planets, so now we have to build two more planets, and then we’ll complete our solar system and then we’ll see about it. Then they’re gonna show me how the sun and the planets make the shadows move on the rug in the kindergarten. Do any…

Goggles!: Forest Room children

In the studio there is a drawer full of tools and...safety goggles!

How Does a Project Start?- Talking about the weather with kindergardeners

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At circle, the Teachers asked the kindergarten children if there was a better way to gather data on the weather- their chart only had a few options and wasn't very satisfying. In asking the children to think about new ways to keep track of the weather, three intriguing ideas/questions came up- they are marked in this color. Now, three small groups are thinking further about these ideas.
Here are some snippets of conversation;
Mary T. (showing picture taken that morning): Today we noticed that it was foggy and sunny and cloudy and cold!
Alexander: "The sun was trying to break out of the clouds. The clouds didn’t want to let the sun through."
Max: "The sun is through the clouds but the fog makes it blurry. Darkish-lightish like a lantern."
Dante: “At my house it was frost, so that’s another kind. Evening is a difference, too.”
Juliette: "Well also it can be eight different kinds of weather at the same time. At that picture it’s also windy out."

Juliette: It’s …